Health And Wellness

5 Ways To Practice Radical Self-Care To Prepare For The Holidays

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woman celebrating Christmas

What is radical self-care and how do you begin to practice it every day?

Earthquakes, elections, and COVID… Oh no! On top of everyday stresses, it seems you're now bombarded with scary news on a regular basis.

It’s hard sometimes to stay grounded and positive in the face of all that. But if you want to stay sane and calm through the holidays, you better ramp up your self-care practices, big time.

Self-care is anything but selfish. It's all about tending to your own very real and often-neglected needs on every level — physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

RELATED: 6 Ways To Reduce Stress At Family Holiday Gatherings (And Keep Your Sanity!)

What makes self-care radical is the fact that so few of us do it.

In fact, we've been taught to take care of everyone else first.

It's a destructive little bit of socialization that many — especially women — seem to have done a particularly good job of internalizing.

Unchecked, this tendency results in a full-blown case of codependent behavior in some or all of your relationships.

So, what can we do to restore a healthy mind, body, heart, and spirit, and balance as you start preparing for the hectic holiday season?

Creating sacred space.

You can begin by creating a little sacred space for yourself.

Sit yourself down in a cozy chair, sipping a cup of tea or hot chocolate, listening to your favorite music, and maybe lighting a candle.

Pull out the beautiful journal you've bought for the specific purpose of ruminating about and recording all the nurturing things you can do for yourself. (One of my clients calls it her "luscious notebook.")

Make a list, either in separate categories or free form, of all the ways you love to nurture your body, stimulate your mind, soothe your heart, and nourish your soul.

Think simply — a daily walk, reading poetry, or flossing. Think big — a trip to the spa, cleaning your closets, or taking a course.

Go a little crazy and get creative. Put a muzzle on all the little gremlins in your head saying, "Oh I couldn’t possibly…" or, "I don’t have time for that!"

And if you get stuck, you can find plenty of tips and articles online.

The idea is to create a vision of radical self-care in all areas.

When you really need a break and your brain is too fogged to function, you can pull out your list and grab on to one as a lifeline.

The next step is to look at how you can engage in radical self-care in the midst of your busy workday, so you’ll be upbeat and ready to deal with whatever the holidays will look like this year.

You can start by modifying your self-care list to focus on habits you can incorporate into your work.

Here are 5 ways to practice radical self-care as you prepare for the holidays.

1. Make a commitment to get outside in the middle of the day.

Sitting on Mother Earth is the quintessential grounding experience!

Even just a walk around the block or your backyard will get your juices flowing and clear your mind.

RELATED: How To Make It Through The Holidays Without Suffering From 'FOMO', Burnout, Or Dysfunctional Family Drama

2. Keep a bottle of water on your desk.

You’ll digest and absorb vitamins and nutrients better, and also detoxify the liver and kidneys at the same time.

Some nutritionists say that 80 percent of the population is dehydrated. So, drink up!

3. Carve out some periods of no phone quiet time.

Just take five slow, deep breaths.

If nothing else, you'll be re-oxygenating and re-activating your brain cells, so you'll be ready to tackle the next project, challenge, or phone call.

4. Create your own little sacred work nook.

This is especially important since so many of us are working from home right now.

Revitalize your space by using innovative design concepts, non-toxic materials, natural fibers, full-spectrum lighting, Feng Shui, and air- and water-purification technologies.

5. Read Steven Covey's business classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Pay particular attention to his last principle — sharpening the saw — which Covey describes as "exercising all four dimensions of our nature [physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual] regularly and consistently in wise and balanced ways."

In his model, it is this habit that surrounds all the others because it’s the one that makes all the other ones possible.

You may not be able to change the seeming craziness of the world right now.

But maybe with a renewed commitment to your own self-care, you can bring some peace to your own little corner of the universe and anticipate the holidays with joy and optimism!

RELATED: How To Cope With The Difficult Circumstances Of Coronavirus Isolation

Deborah Roth, MA is an Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Life and Relationship Coach who has been leading meditations and designing creative, meaningful rituals for individuals, couples, and groups to re-energize mind, body, and spirit for over 30 years. Visit Spirited Living or e-mail her at to schedule a 20-minute introductory coaching session.

This article was originally published at Spirited Living. Reprinted with permission from the author.